Oliver Wendell Holmes warned against this when he said,
"Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God."
The unreachable standards of perfectionism make us cruelly and unhelpfully self critical. Perpetual happiness and unfaltering peak performance are widespread perfectionistic expectations that torture most Americans. Perfectionism arises automatically in children subjected to excessive criticism and punishment. Hoping to eliminate their parents' apparent reasons for being displeased, they strive to achieve the impossible goal of becoming mistake-free.
Out of fear of their parents' disapproval, they vilify themselves for even the most minor mistakes.
Many, out of fear of being a nuisance, eventually conclude that many of their normal needs are flaws
that must be eliminated.
Perfectionism can manifest spontaneously in a child as a response to neglect.
Perfectionism is often the child's desperate attempt to win parental love. If only he/she could be flawless and faultlessly excel and be perfectly self sufficient, then maybe his/her parents would act lovingly to him/her.
Many parents use their children's innocent mistakes and harmless flaws as an excuse to scapegoat them. They regularly vent their unhappiness and frustration on their children and then blame them for their own incapacity to love: "Who could love a child like that?"
Some blame their children for everything that goes wrong in their lives,
"I have given up my life for you, this is how you repay me?"
It is easy for parents to convince their offspring that they should be punished for not being perfect. Parents are virtual gods to their children, with absolute power over them. They can thoroughly brainwash their children into believed that even the cruelest punishment is "For their own good."
Many dysfunctional families are like mini-cults. The parents indoctrinate the children with their beliefs and value when they are completely impressionable. Thereafter they harshly punish any 'disloyalty' to family beliefs in thinking or behaving, Many adult children are so indoctrinated in their family's belief system that they never break free and claim their own unique individuality.
Taken from The Tao of Fully Feeling ~ Walker